The Institute for Christ Centered Manhood aims to foster a desire in men to be the kind of Christ centered fathers, husbands and sons that can lead their families to God and his will in an immoral and wicked world. The Lord challenged his servants to be “Wise as serpents and harmless as doves” see Mathew 10:16. As men and leaders of homes, families, business, and communities, we can play a major role in a renaissance that will return integrity to our spheres of influence. This effort is facilitated in part by this forum and blog where ideas may be shared and problems discussed. I also offer my services as a guest speaker and consultant in organizations, church groups, and service clubs. My fees and rates are available by emailing a request.

Monday, May 21, 2012


Let’s talk about pornography.  Why is pornography such an issue, especially for men?  Why is it so effective in derailing men & boys in the pursuit of feeling the spirit, keeping the hand to the plow, and pressing towards the mark?   

I love to garden.  In a well organized garden, there is symmetry and order that is pleasing to the eye and this organization is also helpful in plant growth.  One time I was planting vegetables and I had one of those plows that has a wheel and handles (you know the one)  


I was trying to put in rows of beets or chard or something.  As I read the back of the seed packet, I saw that the seeds should be planted in rows about eighteen inches apart.  I placed wooden stakes at each end of the proposed rows with the designated space between the rows.  In this particular garden, my rows were about twenty feet long.  I started to push that plow to form the rows.  As I went, I would keep my eye on the post ahead of me.  When I reached the end of the row, I turned to look back down the row and sure enough it was straight.  This continued for some time and the rows continued to be straight.  Pretty soon, I noticed that my cat was wandering around the garden. It started rubbing against my leg looking for attention.  When I ignored the cat, it began to find other things to do such as chase field mice and chew on the grass.  In the clear spring day, my mind began to wander as I watched the cat and the things going on around me.  I found that as my gaze and attention wandered, my rows became crooked.  I took my eye off the mark.  Soon I found that my nice symmetrical garden rows were ruined because I became distracted from my purpose. 
So what about pornography?  We know that the scriptures teach us to keep our hand to the plow and our eye on the mark.  That is the plan.  As Disciples of Christ, we must be focused on the prize of Christ.  What is Satan’s plan then?  Satan would distract us with the shiny and the carnal.  For many men that is pornography.  Is pornography attractive?  Sure it is.  Satan would not tempt us with things that are NOT pleasurable.  Satan does not aim to make us miserable at first (being miserable is the longer term goal for us).  Miserable is not very attractive is it?  Satan distracts with the pleasurable as a counterfeit for true happiness.  Instead of staying on the straight and narrow and moving forward, pressing toward the mark, Satan gets us trapped in circular patterns that keep us from moving forward.  This circular pattern or cycle is initially accompanied by feelings of guilt and shame.  Satan brings us both feelings of fleeting pleasure while at the same time brings us feelings of worthlessness and shame.  Eventually we become desensitized and hope of escape under our own power is lost.  It is only through Christ that we can break these cycles and get back on the path.      

Paul offers some helpful insight in Galatians Chapter 5:16-26

               This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh.  For the Flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would.  But if ye be led of the Spirit, ye are not under the law.  Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.  But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.  And they that are Christ's have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts.  If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.  Let us not be desirous of vain glory, provoking one another, envying one another.

Pornography causes men to lose sight of the mark and to remove their hand from the plow.  What does this do?  This removes us from the spirit and we begin to deaden ourselves to its influence.  Pornography becomes the noise that is louder than the spirit.  Does Satan have us then?  If Satan can separate us from the spirit, he can get us in a spiral that we cannot often get out of without help.  Are you addicted to pornography?  Is your answer “No, I view pornography but I am not addicted, I can stop anytime.”  I say you are a liar! Or you soon will prove yourself to be!  Once you get on the path of pornography, you are not likely to get off without help.  You may not have been on the path long, so you do not think you are addicted.  But I say to you who serve in your churches or work in jobs that depend on your good judgment and wisdom, YOU WILL LOSE THE SPIRIT IF YOU CONTINUE.  THEN WHERE WILL YOU BE?  How can you in good conscience lead others when you do not have access to inspiration?
Pornography (among other things) is a way that Satan counterfeits happiness with pleasure.        

Character causes happiness, not external affects

We need to follow some basic steps to find lasting happiness.  If you struggle with pornography, consider sharing your secret with someone you trust who can help you through it.  There any many helps and ways to mitigate this deviant, seductive, and destructive tool of Satan. 

Follow these 5 steps or phases that lead to lasting happiness (I expound on these ideas in my workshop about pornography)

1)      Repentance

2)      Obedience

3)      Renew your Mind Rom. 12:1-2

4)      You then gain his image in your Countenance Alma 5:14,19

5)      eventual exaltation 

Satan’s distraction to real progress: Episodic Pleasure Cycle gets you spinning in circles not moving forward:  (Check out Lehi’s & Nephi’s thoughts about evil and Satan’s methods in 2 Ne 1:13; 2:29; & 28:22.  For those of you without a copy of the book of Mormon, you can Google these references or go to ) 

Workshops on Pornography and the Episodic Pleasure Cycle being scheduled now.  email or call for specifics. 

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Questions/thoughts about Manhood

As I work on developing new presentation material and lectures.  I am curious to find out about your opinions. 

Do you have a favorite scripture (from any religions’ canonized scripture) dealing with what it means to be a man?

Or do you have any favorite character in these scriptures (besides the Savior) that you feel is a good example of principled leadership?  Why?

Leave me a comment (anonymous or not.  It does not matter). 

If you know of any conferences or workshops being developed that may need a speaker, please feel free to pass along my information.  Or if any of you want a brochure and description of my services, please feel free to pass along a request with an address and I will send you a copy of my informational packet. 


Monday, May 7, 2012

Leading for excellence part 3 of 4

Strategy & Planning:  

            Excellence and leadership does not involve itself with tactics.  Tactics are important, don’t get me wrong, but they are not the focus of the leader.  Leaders delegate tactics and remain focused on strategy.  Strategy like vision and outlook, concerns itself with the end result.  With vision, tactics become a means to an end, not the end in themselves.  Too often we cannot see the proverbial forest for the trees.  We can and often do get ourselves lost in the forest without strategy and planning.   Here are a few things that a leader may want to focus on instead.    

Picking Battles: 

Knowing when to pick a battle is important.  We must remember that we can lose the battle but still win the war.  Not agreeing over methods and means is certainly preferable to not agreeing on the goal.  A leader needs to understand people and their motivations for goal attainment.  It is not enough that everyone understands and agrees on the goal; leaders need to understand the motivations of team members for attaining that goal.  Leaders are not only keepers of values and ideals (the goals), leaders must also know each team member and what motivates them then pick battles and find a way to accommodate and achieve. 
            There comes a time to understand what Carey means when he says that “agency is acting a certain way for a reason.”  We need to understand that reason.  A number of years ago, I worked in a transitional mental health program and we had a cantankerous foul mouthed aggressive man in his 60’s.  He would harass the female residents on a daily basis and be extremely vulgar and suggestive towards them.  We tried to be understanding and intervene in gentle ways because we knew he had sustained a head injury during the Vietnam War and we knew that frontal lobe injuries often changed people.  Normally subdued, kind people could become aggressive and vulgar.   One day there was a surprise visit from his family and after that visit we discussed his behaviors and our concerns.  The family member’s response was something to the effect of “no, that’s not it.  He just really has always been a jerk - even before the head injury.”  We need to understand the motivations of others, and then with that understanding, leaders pick battles and strategize to navigate the path to goal achievement


Delegation is a key part of planning.  Have a look at this discussion about delegation  As a young manager in business and a leader in organizations I really struggled with this one because it was always easier for me to do things myself then to learn to manage projects and lead people.  Even now, when a situation becomes stressful, I have to fight my urge to get over involved and micro manage.  Leaders delegate effectively.  If you struggle as I do with this, make a goal to improve in this area and seek the support of your mentor.   


Leading for excellence is about mentoring and more important making mentorship a part of the strategy of leading for excellence.  Mentoring is near and dear to my heart. Check out  The role of a mentor is a key ingredient in breeding new leaders.  Every professional needs a mentor.  Leaders mentor future leaders. 

As time goes on we will discuss these areas more in depth, but spend some time considering the difference between tactics and strategy.  The realm of leadership is about seeing farther than tactics can lead you.  Tactics are essential but must be the role of someone else.